23 posts tagged with games by blahblahblah.
Displaying 1 through 23 of 23.
After being used to describe boring games (and remaining as a controversial term), the walking simulator is finally getting its due. Recently there have been many great free examples of pure, procedurally-generated walking simulators: no puzzles, no goals, no crafting, no enemies... just walking in a space that was created just for your game. Bernband gives you the feeling of walking through a bustling alien city/mall/something and observing its inhabitants. The ominous TRIHAYWBFRFYH lets you wander around a setting as the apocalypse begins. Secret Habitat creates an island full of art galleries. Sanctuary features a strange, creepy walk among mysterious obelisks. Sacremento is a stunning walk through a watercolor world. If you like realistic walks, Outerra is an amazing engine producing procedurally-generated landscapes using Google Earth data that lets you wander anywhere on the planet, zooming out from a blade of grass to outer space, at which point you probably want to shift to the equally amazing Space Engine to explore other worlds. [all games downloadable, most for Windows and Mac]
IF Only by Emily Short [prev.] highlights the new trend in Interactive Fiction (or Text Adventures, if you were born before 1990) for games that use parsers but also manage to be reasonable simple to play by providing limited options in clever ways. Among the highlights she points out are Kerkerkruip which is a rogue-like interactive fiction game, Treasures of a Slaver's Kingdom a "faux-retro adaptation of a nonexistent 1979 text adventure" where you play as a dumb barbarian, and Midnight. Swordfight. in which the story takes the form of a stage play. If you want to get more into the weeds, Short also suggests this interesting article on narrow parsers with many more examples.
Do you like Roguelikes? (Yes, you do.) Then you are going to enjoy this collection of over 700 free or open source Roguelikes available by torrent, the full set of which is listed here. Since its a torrent, I should mention that while everything seems legitimate here (Rock Paper Shotgun likes it, and the poster is a moderator on r/games and runs a highly regarded Steam group) from both a rights and a malware perspective, nothing is guaranteed. Suggestions among the 7 GB within... [more inside]
With thousands of reader suggestions, Kotaku has published a directory of "Classic PC games you must play". The most voted for free games [links go to places you can download games]: Star Control II, Tyrian, Zork, Battle Zone, Myth II, and Daggerfall. Some of the most votes for games that are available for $10 or less:Master of Orion ($5),Quest for Glory ($10), Planescape ($10), Total Annihilation ($6), Heroes of Might and Magic III ($9), Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis ($5), Little Big Adventures 2 ($5), Descent ($10), and Betrayal at Krondor ($6). More idiosyncratic than PC Games list of the top games, but the people have spoken...
You've played Pac-Man as a terrifying FPS game in 3-D (including ominous music), but Pac-Man is so much more: Pac-Man as a Match 3 game, as a math tutor, as a co-op game, as a 404 error page, as a side-scrolling shooter, as an endless runner, as a Google Doodle, and, finally Pac-Man as an 8-bit roguelike tower defense game. Also, a niceonline clone of the original, which famously caused a coin shortage in Japan when it was released. [some variations from here]
There seems to be a recent golden age of genuinely terrifying indie horror games that experiment with new ways to upset you. Slender [PC/Mac, free], is based on the creepy Slender Man mythos and has been garnering rave reviews and videos of terrified reactions as you try to escape the being that draws ever closer. The 4th Wall [free or $1 on Xbox/PC] is a even more abstract take on existential dread. SCP Containment Breach [PC, free] features the very disturbing Sculpture (even the picture in that link will creep you out) from the SCP series, it follows another SCP game - The Staircase. And there is more - Which [PC, free] has you stumble in the dark; Ib [PC, free] places you in the shoes of a girl in an abandoned art gallery, and Candles [free, Win/Mac] is all about atmospherics. On top of that, there are some cheap independent commercial games that generate great scares, such as Lone Survivor [online demo] and the now-famous Amnesia: The Dark Descent [PC/Mac/Linux, $20], whose upcoming sequel A Machine for Pigs, may have the best title of any game.
After a long dormant period, the newest version of the Ur-Quan Masters has been released for basically every operating system. The game is a legal port of the original code of Star Control 2, a space-based RPG/shooter/adventure hybrid which, despite being two decades old, maintains a strong cult following, including for its alien races and their distinctive theme music. You really should play it.
Kosmosis is based on the idea that the modern shooter is rooted in the capitalist military-industrial complex. Created by Molleindustria (behind Oligarchy and much more) it reinvents the idea of the shooter along Communist lines. The game play is based on three principles: Thesis I: The task of the vanguard is to instill revolutionary class consciousness in the intergalatic proletariat. Thesis II: The people united will never be defeated. Thesis III: The role of the vanguard will diminish as the educated masses gain autonomy. All with little glowing dots. [more inside]
Playcrafter is now in open alpha. Playcrafter allows you to easily create Flash games with a drag-and-drop online toolkit. Some of the neater ones to play include games like Unstack and Matcheroo, and, of course, my original creation MeFi Plate of Beans. Do you think you can do a better MeFi game? [God, I should hope so.]
One Thousand Monkeys, One Thousand Typewriters is the largest online source of free role playing and story games. With so many choices, you may want to look at the winners of the 2006 Game Chef contest, with its interesting rules: Crime and Punishment, the RPG about being a writer for a crime procedural TV show; Liquid Crystal, about a robot with no memory; Time Traitor with its mysterious Factors; and the haunted house story Merryweather. [more inside]
Rails of War is a terrific flash game, where you equip a train with ever-increasing combinations of weapons and guide it through various missions. It is a representative of the growing number of Defense-style flash strategy games started by Tower Defense and friends, which we discussed before. Now you can try Age of War, where you try to destroy an opponents base through five distinct eras; Invasion Tactical Defense where you must manage a nuclear missile plant and its anti-aircraft defenses; the inevitable and previously mentioned zombie defense games; StarCraft FA5, where you are the Zerg defending your base; and the lovely and abstract Red. These is a particularly addictive class of games, so be warned...
The Library Arcade features one surprisingly entertaining flash game about pleasing library patrons, and one less entertaining, but probably more directly applicable, game about shelving. You can also try to discover the cause of a mysterious disease using your research skills in an arcade-like game [username: Tammy, password: Allgood]. More on the discussion of the role of games in libraries.
Several recent classics of PC gaming have been released for free. The first few are ad supported, including first person shooters Far Cry (89% rating) and Ghost Recon (82% rating), the action-adventure game Prince of Persia Sands of Time (89% rating) and the minigame extravaganza Rayman Raving Rabbids (55% rating). To go a bit further back, EA has also released its 12-year-old classic Command and Conquer Gold for free. And more very recent top-flight games look like they will be appearing for free in the near future. [Ad-supported games are for the US only, and the ads aren't that bad - they appear during loading and on menus, not in the game]
The top 100 Indy games of the last three years as selected by GameTunnel, which offers in-depth reviews of independent games (also useful are their best of 2006 and best of 2005). On the other side of the indy gaming world, ModDB does the same thing for the best mods of 2006 chosen by their editors and players, along with a full database of other mods. [You may also want to see my previous post on free games.]
For nearly two decades, fifty computers have been running day and night on an extremely complex problem. Today, scientists from the University of Alberta announced the result of all that work - they have solved the game of checkers. Chinook, the computer program they developed, can never be beaten - try for yourself. While checkers is the most complicated game to be solved so far, it is not the only one. You can play a perfect game of tic-tac-toe, of course, but also connect four, and a 6x6 board of the game othello. Chess players are already thinking ahead to when their game is solved, with Advanced Chess being Gary Kasparov's answer. The hardest game to completely solve might be Go, which may not be solved until 2100.
Fun with Wikipedia. Try Catfishing, where you guess the article based on the often idiosyncratic Wikipedia categories to which it has been assigned. The related Wiki'd Game involves guessing a topic based on the first seven Wikipedia internal links to it. Or find the shortest path between two concepts (try using the fascinating Omipelagos, which does so automatically) or race to get from one topic to another. Most recently, Something Awful developed the concept of Wikigroaning. [A few challenges inside]
You Don't Know Jack playable online. "If 50 Cent was actually worth 50 cents when he was born in 1975, adjusting for inflation, what would his name be today?" Plus, see the topical daily DisOrDat, including: Is this quote from the Bible or Deathstalker III? Crayola color or award-nominated porn movie? Brand of computer software or member of the Justice League? (NSFW for insulting commentator and suggestive references)
101 free games for Windows. Computer Gaming World (now called Games For Windows) lists some excellent downloads. Some standouts: Penumbra, a physics-based horror adventure; now-free classics like Star Control 2, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, and Maniac Mansion; remakes of other classics like the Star Wars arcade game; addictive action title Every Extend; Asteroids-meets-RTS Base Invaders, and many, many more. Are they missing anything (besides TrackMania, ADOM, and Cave Story)?
Combining incredible hubris with deep incompetence, Active Enterprises was probably the worst game company of all time. They released precisely two games in the early 1990s. The first was the insanely horrible Action 52, (retail price: $200), which was designed to take advantage of a "silent wave of anti, far-eastern [sic] made products," and featured an unwinnable contest. More amazing, however, was the sequel to the 52nd game in their Action 52 cartridge, Cheetahmen II. Never quite the breakout hit that Active intended, perhaps because it was crippled with bizarre bugs and middle school art, the world never got to see the second issue of the Cheetahmen comic book, nor the planned set of action figures, nor their Action Gamemaster console.
Chess has a long, if somewhat shrouded, history, with beautiful chess pieces found dating from the 5th century. It has spawned hundreds of fascinating stories, and many interesting names for moves. For the last five decades, the history of chess and computers have been intertwined in many ways. Chess continues to adapt to a new age, with controversies around computer-assisted cheating, attempts to sex-up chess books, thousands of variants, and an amazing online database that can search through recorded games for the last 200 years.
1,100 Apple II games you can play online. If you are too overwhelmed by your memories to know what to play, some playable classics: Oregon Trail*, Ultima IV*, Archon*, Captain Goodnight and the Islands of Fear*, Drol*, Wings of Fury*, Choplifter *, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?* and Taipan*. Or you can play the first game mod in history: Castle Smurfenstein, a modification of the 1983 original Castle Wolfenstein. What did I miss? [Young whippersnappers can click the asterisks to find out why the game was important. Use the left and right alt keys for joystick buttons, the other instructions are on the site. Emulator only works with IE, sorry. See also this.]
While groups like the Serious Games Initiative are working on making games effective teaching tools, and Social Impact Games are categorizing hundreds of socially useful games, there are some simulations and "serious games" available now which can also be a lot of fun (at least for a little while). Online, you can try your hand at the basics of sailing, setting wildfires, learning photography, or experience a heavy-handed simulation of the war on terror. Less seriously, there is the stapler simulator and the zombie attack simulator. For a bit more involved experience, download a college administration simulator, the UN's Food Force, and, soon, a simulation on the Rwandan genocide. Is learning this way actually useful, or do we have further to go, first? [Flash, Shockwave, and Java used in some links. Some prev. here and here]
The Most Ambitious Game Ever? At this year's Game Developers Conference, Sims creator Will Wright's upcoming game Spore drew standing ovations. Not to be outdone, Peter Molyneux (of Populous and Black & White fame) revealed his own ambitious game-like project The Room. While the top game designers have freedom to play, independents rail (read Greg Costikyan's amazing bit in the middle) at the restrictions of the publisher system. For those who doubt games can be art.